It's 8 PM and I'm still doing work stuff! This is not a cool development, but I am slightly comforted by the fact that 20 hours from now, a strange man's hands will be in my mouth and I'll be pumped full of drugs.
Explanation: I've always had a short tooth in the back of my mouth, and now it needs a crown. It's not long enough for a crown, thus I have to undergo something called a tooth lengthening. I don't want to get too graphic with the description, but I will say that the terms "gum flaps" and "grind down the bone" are prominently featured. After numerous delays, tomorrow is the day.
Lots of googling has led me to believe that the day itself will be unpleasant, but I should be fine by the next morning. This is good; I'm supposed to attend a bachelor party Saturday night. (Don't worry, everybody, I'll go booze-free at this event and P-Diddy is doing most of the driving.) The bad part of attending a bachelor party right after oral surgery: I'm going to have to tone it down quite a bit. The good part: when the Shreveport casinos inevitably take all of my money, then I'll be able to sell the rest of my prescriptions and place a hell of a bet on black.
I'm supposed to do a teensy bit of medication this evening, so I'm praying that the SQL Server gods smile upon me before that happens. If not, I'm comforted by the fact that tomorrow can't get much worse.
I don't even know where to start with this weekend. All I can say is this: drop my family out in the boonies with 300 pounds of crawfish and copious tequila, and things start to happen. I kinda feel like words wouldn't even do it justice; I'd need to go multimedia on this bad boy to really capture the spirit of the event. I wouldn't need a lot of pictures either, maybe just one. It'd show 6 people at 1 AM on Monday, underneath a carport, shaking their asses for all they're worth. The other 35 attendees of the party were asleep, but we were having a little impromptu dance party. And after Laura saw Eldon's moves, I don't think I stand a chance with her for quite some time.
It was an awesome time, and I am glad that my uncle knows people who are willing to let me do strange things on their property.
I guess now that Memorial Day is here, summer is in full swing. Good, I dig this season. I get baseball, the beach, barbecuing, and bocce ball, all at the expense of hideous sun burns and nonstop sweating. I actually say that's not such a bad trade. And yes, I do realize that nothing stops me from playing bocce ball during the winter, but it would look and feel ridiculous. (Reader, promise that if you ever see a cold weather game of bocce ball, you run onto the playing field screaming, grab the balls, and then run off the field, still screaming. That is how you teach a bocce lesson!)
I'm feeling optimistic about this season. I'm going on some good trips (Mexico, UK, Vegas), most of which I've already paid for, except for food and bail money. I'm going to see lots of minor league baseball in the hopes that, if I buy enough hot dogs, they'll let me throw out the first pitch. I'm also going to avoid lots of killer bees, as I hear this is the summer they finally get to Texas. It's an ambitious trifecta, especially the bee part, but I've got the whole summer to work on it.
Tomorrow is Thursday. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM, a disturbing-looking gentleman is going to knock on my door and insist on mowing my yard. I know this because a pattern has been set: he insists on mowing the yard, I tell him no, then I end up giving him a ride home from the gas station.
Let's transport back in time, two weeks ago. This guy knocks on my door at 7 AM, and thinking that the house is probably on fire, I bolt out of bed and throw the front door open. There's no fire; there's just this sweaty, schlubby guy who lives down the street.
"Hey, you want your yard mowed? I'll do it real cheap."
"No thank you, my neighbor and I swap back and forth mowing our yards."
"Are you sure? I'll do it real cheap."
Okay, he isn't listening to me. "No thanks, like I said, I already have an arrangement with your neighbor."
"With your neighbor? But I'll do it real cheap!"
That conversation went on for five minutes, with both of us saying essentially the same thing. I don't think he paid attention to anything I said the entire time. The only way I got out of it was by promising to hand out some fliers for his lawn service (seriously).
That evening, I was at the gas station when I saw that same guy, dripping with sweat and with a handful of candy, coming out of the storefront.
"Hey man, how'd the lawn mowing go today?" I figured that, after talking to this guy for a while this morning, he'd have to know who I am.
Instead, all I get is this blank stare. "Did I mow your yard today?" he asked.
"No, but we talked about it and I took some fliers."
At this point, he launched right back into his routine. "Do you need your yard mowed? I'll do it real cheap."
Here, I noticed that the guy looked completely out of it. He was a little loopy that morning, but I was beginning to suspect that he might actually be mentally retarded. "No, no, I don't need my yard mowed."
"Hey, could I have a ride back to my house?" he asked.
Earlier that morning, he and I had discussed where he lived. I knew it was about 8 houses down from me, so I had no problem with it. I said, "Sure, you just live on Lollypop Forest, right?"
His eyes bulged when I said that; I spooked him good. Not good enough to kep him from still accepting the ride, apparently. "Yeah, Lollypop Forest, it's the second straight on the right. I can get us there real quick."
"I know where it is; I live right down the street, remember?"
There was no glimmer of recognition. He said, "We gotta get there quick, I just bought a drink for my daughter."
Three thoughts came to mind here. First, who is fornicating with this piece of work? Second, he wasn't holding any beverages. He just had a handful of Hershey's Kisses. Third, who goes to the convenience store and buys a handful of Hershey's Kisses after mowing yards in the sun all day long?
I let the guy into my car, and as I did, I saw the lady at the next pump over. She had absolutely no idea what was happening. In her mind, she was witnessing the most inept gay hook-up ever.
I took him home, listening to him tell the directions to our street roughly 5 separate times in 75 seconds. When he was home, I chuckled a little bit and went on with my day.
One week later (last Thursday), I got another knock on the door at 7:30 AM. I thought to myself, "No way. There's just no way it's that guy again." Since the universe hates me, OF COURSE it was him. And to no surprise whatsoever, we had the exact same conversation where he offered to mow it cheaply, and I politely declined. He had no idea who he was, and I made sure to avoid the gas station.
Tomorrow is Thursday, and I fully expect to have the same conversation again. The worst part is that my tank is on E. I better lay down a tarp in the passenger seat.
The other day, I began to think about the absolute worst animal that could infest my house. Yes, roaches are bad and rats are worse, but I would gladly take both of those over an infestation of komodo dragons. Reasons:
1. The average specimen is between 6.5 and 10 ft long.
2. They can run up to 12.4 miles per hour.
3. Their mouths are filled with "virulent bacteria".
4. In that Wikipedia link, search for the term "gastric pellet". Holy crap!
5. Dragons shouldn't exist.
One through four are pretty big for me, but four is the clincher. I simply do not want an incarnation of a mythical beast coming at me. Do I run from a freaking dragon, or do I fight it? And how does one fight a dragon? I think I'd need a wand. I must change the subject before I start organizing a neighborhood Komodo watch. If you can think of a worst pest than the dragon, let me know.
Nothing else of interest is going on around these parts. I spent my lunch hour at the bank today, and I actually had a pretty good time. If that doesn't signal the end of my youth, nothing does. Also, I encourage everyone to get the new Voxtrot album (available on Emusic).
I actually feel like I must weigh in on the whole run vs. fight thing with regards to a charging komodo dragon. As I said, these things can run 12+ mph; I can only reach that speed when shot from a cannon. Also, I believe the average adult is around 150 lbs, which is heavy, but not too heavy. My question is: with my adrenaline flowing, would I start a better chance of running 13 mph for a while OR killing a 150 pound lizard in hand to hand/claw combat? If anyone has an answer here, I'd like to hear it.
This past weekend was superlative. The first order of business was the Pun Off. Man, if you live in Austin and you love clever wordplay yet don't go to the Pun Off every year, then you need to seriously examine the universe and your place in it. I didn't enter; Zyvarb and I thought about it and threw some ideas around, but laziness and my own personal fear of being judged over my puns got in our way. See, the Pun Off is an event where it'd be great to win, but really unpleasant to lose, as I'd then officially be an unsuccessful competitive punster. (Shout out to Eirik Ott, who won last year and should've won again this year.)
We hit the Comal River afterwards for the first tubing trip of the year. Thanks to jello shot barf patrol weinerbiscuits, lots of onerous rules have been imposed on us simple river folk. Large coolers are forbidden and river loitering is frowned upon. We tried to use our knowledge of oceanography to dodge that last rule, blaming our slow pace on tidal forces, but we were not successful. My prediction for these rules: the folks responsible for stirring all of this trouble up will never go back to the Comal, thus forcing the city police to install these rules on another river, which will cause the culprits to go to yet another river, etc. Eventually, anyone who goes near a river in Texas will be shot on sight. Avoid this fate, rivergoers!
After years of loyal iPod use, my 80GB-er pulled a Mama Cass on me and asphyxiated on a digital ham sandwich. While I'm waiting for it to get back from the Apple shop, I'm using my old 20GB-er. I had that for a couple of years, up until this past Christmas. It's kind of interesting to scroll through it now and think, "I actually listened to this crap six months ago?!" For some reason, historical musical taste is way more embarrassing than anything else form one's past. Example: would you rather be known as the guy who crossdressed for a week, or the guy who loved Toby Keith for a week? (I should note that if you combine the two and crossdress to impress Toby Keith, it becomes strangely remarkable.)
I've mentioned on here how Laura and I are doing these weekly challenges. Last week's was to hit the gym 4 times. Despite being half way there after 2 days, I didn't manage to accomplish this. (I did do other physically strenuous things such as walk, breathe, and go to the bathroom.)
For this week, we're trying not to use any profanity. For me, this is much, much harder than the gym thing. I'm not addicted to the f word or anything, but it is a fun way to talk. It's easy to make your point and wow your audience when you start dropping some expletives, as long as you're not talking to old ladies, police officers, or old lady police officers. So far, I've only slipped twice. Once, I called Visual Studio the b word, and then later on, I was vocalizing the dog's thoughts and I referred to dog food as a separate b word. Prediction: this will be 168 hours of mudderflapping agony.
I finally found a household chore that I'm good at: moth extermination. I don't know how handy that is for most households, but in ours, it's crucial. That's because we have a freaking pestilence in our kitchen. I don't know how it happened, but it's gotten worse the past few days. Then, last night, I opened the pantry door and nearly got swept away. At that point, I snapped. I was like Kurt Russell at the end of Tombstone, yelling "No!" and killing everything in sight. The massacre lasted an hour; final score: Powell 100, Moths 0.
I've seen a few stragglers today, but my technique is so honed at this point, the little bastards don't stand a chance. Just give me a rolled-up magazine and get ready for some fireworks.
Attention, United Kingdom: I will be rocking you from July 26 - August 5. I'm very excited, as I've never set foot in Europe before. We're thinking that we'll hit London and all of the crap around there, then hit Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Of course, since I'm flying American Airlines, there's a very real chance that I won't see any of this. Knowing their hatred for me, I can see them redirecting the flight to Reykjavik at the halfway point out of spite. Anyway, as we get closer to the trip itself, expect lots more news here. (Also, if you have any sights to recommend, let me know.)
Message to Texas Rangers fans: how long do we have to wait before we give up entirely on this season? Leaping lizards, man, I wouldn't trust Jon Daniels in a baseball card trade, let alone a trade involving actual players. Can we just trade entire teams with someone? In my world, that would include players, coaches, front offices, stadiums, uniforms, etc. I say we call Steinbrenner really late at night, make our pitch quickly in a garbled voice, and demand an answer on the spot. This could work!
I spent last weekend up in Waco, watching my sister graduate from Baylor. We had a good time, and of course it was exciting to see her cross the stage. However, for about three hours during graduation itself, I was convinced that I had somehow entered my own personal version of hell. That is because, sitting directly behind us, was the grand duchess of beeyatches. If she were a dinosaur, she would've been Tyrannosaurus Beeyatch. If she were an overweight film star of the late 70s, she would've been Dom de Lubeeyatch. In real life, she was just an ill-mannered fat woman with personal space issues.
There was one central issue that consumed this woman throughout the graduation ceremony. Her point was simple: the row she was sitting on wasn't a walkway. It happened to be the row in line with the two exits, so to get from one exit to the other, a lot of people did, in fact, use her row as a walkway. This drove her insane.
I would estimate that I heard her bellow "This is not a walkway!" 75 times on Saturday afternoon. In the lulls between "This is not a walkway!", she was pressing her daughter to form a barricade with her legs and to get her daughter's children into the blockade. They got into it with a few people. One guy really rose to the challenge. The first time he passed through, he ignored "This is not a walkway!" The second time, they tried to block him with their legs, so he knocked their legs down and said, "It's a walkway now." (I was very close to throwing my wallet at that man in admiration.)
All of that sounds fairly annoying, but the real issue was that the row she sat on was a walkway. They got there late, so they untarped the seats on the walkway to allow for more seating; that explained why the row was between the two exits and twice as wide as the rest of the rows. Logic was not a friend of the Thunder Beeyatch, however. Of course, when the ceremony was over, I too used the not-a-but-actually-yes-a-walkway, thus sticking it to those villains very slightly in my own way. If there's any justice in the world, a freak tornado swooped up the hippo poop piles from the zoo and dropped it on those ladies, then picked the poop back up and dropped it again.
Not much else is going down here. I will note that Tony Soprano scares me more than ever, and that both Laura and I succeeded admirably in our quest to watch less than 3 hours of tv each last week. I got the itch again Sunday and watched an hour's worth of infomercials on no-money-down real estate, so I'm not really sure I made any permanent progress.
Our challenge for this week is to hit the gym 4 times. I'm actually not worried about that, simply because the gym is weird enough to entertain me. Example: there's a machine there called the Butt Blaster. Like every other literate person in the joint, I'm absolutely terrified to get near it and yet I can't wait to see someone attack that thing. The good thing about going 4 times this week is that it seriously boosts our odds of seeing someone actually get their hind quarters blasted. Don't worry, everybody; I'll keep a running tally of the blastings here.
I've decided to take a very relaxed attitude towards posting this week. That's because:
1) The past few weeks have been stressful. Cinco de Mayo and whatnot.
2) I have to spend this weekend with the entirety of family, whilst recovering from some minor surgery. "Don't they give you lots of drugs for that?" They do, but I'm still taking my precautions.
(Oh man, Firefox blew up after writing that paragraph, then I was able to successfully restore session! Wow, that was a close one; I fear the future without those lines. Anyway.)
I mentioned how I'm trying to keep myself to 3 hours of tv for the week. I should note that I exempted one movie from that time allotment. (Come on, people, I'm a NetFlix subscriber and not some idiot.) Tonight, I drank some Boddington's and watched Tristram Shandy. Verdict? Enjoyable, but don't knock yourself out trying to see it.
I should also note that Elliott Smith's latest posthumous release, New Moon, came out on Tuesday. I'm a very big Elliott Smith fan, but I'd call this latest release slight inessential. My plan is that, if I ever become an artist, the first statement in my will shall read, "BURN ALL UNFINISHED WORK RIGHT NOW!" The second statement would probably read, "DISAVOW ALL PATERNITY SUITS!" But really, if the material were that good, why wouldn't the dude release it while alive? Anyway, it's all we get now and it's not so bad.
How'd the big speech go on Saturday? Well, strikes and gutters, ups and downs, to quote a wise man. There was a percentage of the audience who had no idea what I was talking about, a percentage that was really into what I was talking about, and a percentage there for the free box lunch. I had a good time and I learned a valuable lesson: stop doing stuff like that for free.
The other day, I got it into my head that I needed to start posing a weekly challege for me and Laura. These challenges wouldn't be impossible, like holding your bladder for a week, but fun little contests. Our first, which started on Saturday, was for each one of us to watch less than 3 hours of TV for the whole week. So far, she's at an hour and I'm at an hour and a half (Sopranos, 10 minutes of Giants-Phillies last night, How I Met Your Mother).
I think I can cruise until Saturday with time left on my clock. I'm not so sure about her, though. I fully expect to come home from work later this week and find her watching Mama's Family reruns in a delirious haze. (I should note there's no penalty for flunking a weekly challenge, except that I get to dump all of her underwear onto the highway.)
I have a little medical procedure Friday afternoon, and it requires a good amount of medicine afterwards. I went and filled my prescriptions today; there were 6 of them. The pharmacist probably thinks I'm getting a sex change. Actually, one of the prescriptions is for special mouthwash, which probably doesn't factor into a transgender operation. So, he probably thinks that I have gingivitis and I'm getting a sex change.
Remember when I mentioned that I'd be speaking at a developer conference here in Austin this weekend? There are 80 people registered for my talk! Holy caca balls. I think my presentation is pretty good thus far, but... 80 people.
If I work the numbers, it's actually not that daunting.
80 people signed up.
30 of these people signed up for the session thinking I was Cody Powell, Alabaman graphic artist.
28 of the remaining people are Internet-savvy hobos looking for air conditioning and free snacks.
19 of the remaining people are buyers from Ebay, looking to confront me over my fraudulent Beanie Baby sales.
That leaves 3 people who actually signed up and wanted to hear me speak. I'm guessing that 2 of those people are me, submitting the registration form twice on accident, and the other one is Paddy. He's used to me not making any sense, so the pressure is evaporating.
Okay, Mavs play the Warriors in Game 6 tonight. I suspect the Mavs get lost on the way to the stadium, show up at a junior high, and beat the holy hell out of St. Anthony Episcopal School's Fighting Bishops.
Woops, clerical error: half of yesterday's entry got cut off. It ended up being slightly humorous: due to my inability to work my own blogging software, I garbled my post about an upcoming talk I'm giving at a software development conference. That is me, master technologist.
The basketball team that I occasionally rant and rave about, the Dallas Mavericks, are on the verge of an ignominious defeat; I do not wish to discuss this. People know I'm a Mavericks fan and have been coming up to me today to ask what I think will happen tonight. I give these people a blank stare. That's because, in my mind, I substitute 'Dallas Mavericks' with 'lice shampoo'. I have no idea what's happening tonight with lice shampoo, you crazy people; aren't there usenet groups for that? (I reserve the right to become wildly optimistic should the Mavs win by more than 4 points.)
I have nothing else good to talk about, so here are a few recommendations. Go see Hot Fuzz; I liked it more than Shaun of the Dead, which I thought was excellent. Second, you should try to see Elvis Perkins live. I had heard him before Saturday night, but I wasn't that impressed. His live show was excellent, however. Also, he's the son of Anthony Perkins, the guy who played Norman Bates in Psycho... so he's got that going for him too.